The Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s Day parade is right around the corner on Saturday, March 16th. This will be the 4th year the Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands will be manning a float, and we want you to join us!
Every year we have a fabulous time with friends, riding, walking and, yes, even fighting in the streets of the ‘Burgh. We welcome musicians, fighters, and anyone who would like to ride in our carriage decked out in your finest (and warmest) garb.
We march, we show off our garb and our crafts and when the parade slows up a bit, our armored fighters give the crowds a heck of a display. Last year the Crown Prince fought almost every step of the way and the crowds went crazy!
We start on Liberty Ave, the exact cross street will be given to us about a week before the parade. The route is about 1 1/2 miles to the Blvd at Stanwix.
There is space on the float so you don’t have to walk the whole way.
Children are welcome. Boffers, too!
For more information please don’t hesitate to contact Lady Kit Fixis at email@example.com or visit our Facebook event page
The BMDL Fiber Guild was invited back to the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh MAKESHOP on April 29, for a medieval embroidery demo. (This is our sixth demo for the museum!) MAKESHOP is a partnership between the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) and the University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out-of-School Environments (UPCLOSE). It is a space dedicated to making, reusing and designing things, using everyday materials and real tools. It has regular programs and special guests.
The goal of the demo was to introduce children and their families to medieval embroidery and basic techniques. As it can be a complex topic, there was a lot of fine tuning to make sure the program would be useful to the children who have never done any embroidery and to the more experienced adults. This required the talent and resources of many people to produce a successful presentation.
Mistress Ts’vee’a bat Tseepora Levi, Lady Gesa von Wellenstein, and Lady Rivka bat Daniyal generously donated their time and skills to the demo by teaching the stitches, drawing designs, and assisting with the kids’ take home projects.
Lady Rivka and Mistress Tsvia demonstrating skills to the children.
THL Renata Rouge sent us her embroidery stitch cards, which guided the kids through commonly used stitches using a “connect the dots” method (and the cards rhymed, too). They were so successful, that after the demo the Museum requested to keep a set. Mistress Rowena ni Dhonnchaidh of Coppertree donated a big box of embroidery floss, and we used a lot of it!
Embroidery stitch cards from THL Renata Rouge.
We also had a wonderful display of medieval embroidered items – the Baron and Baroness of the Debatable Lands Hilda and Brandubh loaned their embroidered heraldic hoods, Mistress Antoinette de la Croix lent us two amazing embroidered dresses, Mistress Tsvia brought her Elizabethan blackwork embroidery, Lady Gesa brought several traditional embroidery items, and Lady Rivka submitted her embroidered Ottoman Turkish coat.
Embroidered items display
Children and adults enjoyed the display, took home the embroidered designs they made, and learned about the use of embroidery in the Middle Ages. Great fun was had by the attendees and the demonstrators! We are looking forward to the next demo in the fall.
Photographs taken and article submitted by THL Luceta di Cosimo.
It may be winter, but the Æthelmearc Equestrians have not been idle. On March 2, as part of the Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands’ demo which was conducted at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA, the equestrians of Æthelmearc set up and displayed the tools of their trade. The Coordinator for the equestrian portion of the demo was Isabel Johnston who organized the various portions of the display. She and her husband, Tomas, also constructed several clever devices to facilitate displaying various components of the display and creating a fun and inter-active game for participants.
Tomas solved one of the difficult questions that faces equestrian artisans when trying to properly display “barding” or “caparisons” which are used to cover and decorate the horse. These historical “garments” had a variety of uses and functions in period. Because most A&S type events are not conducive to bringing in a horse to model the barding, it is difficult for the artisans to display these items to full effect. Tomas came up with a portable and life sized “dummy” to display a set of Mistress Gozen’s full barding which completely covers the horse from head to —- hoof.
A life sized display of tournament equipment.
The other interesting creation of Tomas was a mock horse that moved. Constructed of a wooden saddle rack and securely mounted on a sturdy wooded platform with wheels, this device was outfitted with saddle, bridle and barding complete with bells. Attendees to the Science Center’s Over 21 Event were treated to an opportunity to mount the “horse” armed with a sword, and attack a series of mounted heads while being pulled through our mock tourney field. This replicated a popular game on the SCA equestrian tourney field commonly called “Behead the Enemy.” This activity was extremely well received, with a constant stream of participants most who waited patiently in line for several minutes for an opportunity to “take a few swings.” Participants included SCA demo participants as well as the young and quite elderly visitors to the Center. Several of the equestrians worked hard in this area of the display including Isabel, Lady Rowena Macara, Lady Leah of the Debatable Lands, and Jackie Caulkins, one of our newest equestrians. They pulled the attendees through the course on the “horse.” Spouses and friends took many candid photographs in this area.
Besides this fun activity, attendees were treated to a display of arts and sciences by Mistress Gozen including a display of barding types in miniature as well as a display of the items needed in a tournament by a mounted rider. This included a medieval styled saddle, bridle, full barding, banners, surcoat and helmet mantle. Lady Gesa set up a display of jousting equipment. Participants were very fascinated by all these period recreations and asked many good questions.
The evening was an excellent opportunity to introduce these people to the wonderful world that is the SCA. Some folks came in garb, some wearing things from their cosplay experiences while others said they had the clothes from prior Halloween costumes. The Science Center allowed the SCA to display various crafts and activities on all the floors of their Center. On the Lower floor, where the equestrians were located, there was also heavy fighting and a local Steel Sword Fighting organization. All the areas were well attended and appreciated by the attendees. We, the equestrians of Æthelmearc were grateful to the Center and the Barony, especially Lady Zianna who coordinated the entire project, for the opportunity to bring our craft to the populace of Pittsburgh!
Article written by Mistress Gozen and the photographs were taken by Baron Friderich Swartzwalder and Isabel Johnston.
The Center’s official press release about the demo can be found here.
The Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands – the Barony of bridges… We have so many bridges in our great lands that connect our populace. We have many little villages with vast cultural diversity. There is another saying in our lands. Some people have never ever left their village because they will not cross a bridge. This was NOT the case when it came to a recent demonstration at the Carnegie Science Center for a Science After Dark Over 21 Event.
The Carnegie Science Center of Pittsburgh, PA (photo courtesy of the Center’s Press Photos)
One of our residents reached out to our Chatelaine with the option to be involved in an evening demo that wanted to showcase what Pittsburgh had to offer in regards to all things medieval. There was a small little catch to this offer – it was only 20 days away! That is really not a lot of days to figure out the details for an event and a venue that you have not been in before. I accepted the challenge when asked to organize the demo. I figured – alright – I can get enough people and display items to man a table at this event. I should be able to do this no problem.
First step: Meet with the main coordinator for the details. He is with the local HEMA branch and found out that he was trying to pull everyone in that he could – he wanted armored combat, role playing, Ren Faire, SCA, and anyone else that we could think of to fill the Science Center. I only had one question at the end of the meeting – How much can I bring? His answer – Bring it all! And we did!
The Display even included a ballista! (Photo courtesy of Baron Friderich Swartzwalder)
Step Two: Put the call out for volunteers. Talk it up at the event we had that weekend. Spread the word! At that event I had both merchants commit to the demo! I had several people say, “put me on the list.” I made a Facebook event and started using the Barony’s social media outlets. I went to the Barony’s business meeting to make sure everyone was aware of the demo.
Step three: Be humbled by the overwhelming out-pouring of interest. One post – one email – one message – over and over people wanted to be there and bring “all of the things.” People that I did not know – people that did not know me – offered to work together. Not only was this within our Barony, it was with neighboring lands – up to four hours away! There were a total of 111 people representing the SCA at this event! Working with other local interest groups was amazing. Although we had similar interests and cross over with our members, working together for events was not that common. We worked on building those bridges. We want to keep the bridges strong.
The bonds were growing – but there were many logistical questions to be answered. Who was going to be doing what? Where would be the best places for everyone to be at the Science Center? Did everyone have what they were going to need? We shared resources – we shared ideas – we worked together even up to the last few hours figuring out where a new interest group could fit in. There was no competition for space or times. We made it work. I personally had not worked with the Science Center before. A few of the other interest groups had – and they took us right into the fold. We were just all one giant family working together to put on a great event.
The day of the event was glorious! Every person from every group united to engage the 1500 people in attendance – more than the venue had ever provided before. We hung banners – we shared radios – we shared dollies and helped everyone that needed help. The attendees were provided with so many options, confronted with choices such as, “Do I fight or do I talk about swords? Do I talk about A&S classes or thrown weapons?” I saw people moving from area to area talking to guests. There may have been 12 different groups at the event – but we melded into one. We shared our passion and our talents to guests that now have been given the tools to build the bridge from their village to ours.
As Banners of Scarlet rang out from all four floors at the end of the evening, I couldn’t have been more proud of the Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands, of Æthelmearc, and of the SCA. We crossed and built new bridges – we strengthened new and old bonds – we united as one voice. We are Æthelmearc!
Article written and submitted to the Gazette by Lady Zianna.
(The Photographs used in the slideshow were taken by Baron Friderich Swartzwalder, Luceta di Cosimo and Lady Isabel Johnston.)
On December 2nd and 3rd, the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh invited the BMDL Fiber Guild back for the Wool Weekend. This was our fifth demo for the museum, and our biggest – we were there for two days and had demonstrators in the MAKESHOP as well as in the Studio art space. (MAKESHOP is a partnership between the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) and the University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out-of-School Environments (UPCLOSE). It is a space dedicated to making, reusing and designing things, using everyday materials and real tools. It has regular programs and special guests.)
This time, the museum guests and staff were able to learn how to use hand cards and drop spindles, spin with a distaff and on a great wheel, knitting, inkle weaving, weaving on a warp weighted loom, and wet felting. To complement these activities, the museum had finger knitting and needle felting stations set up as well.
Display of various materials and products
Woolen items on display by the guild, including materials and clothing.
We also had a display of woolen items and different types of wool for the kids to explore. The display had woolen garments and items spanning from Anglo-Saxon England to late period German. Most of the items were made by Lady Beatrix of Anglesey, who, though she couldn’t be there herself, graciously lent us her work, and by Mistress Irene von Schmetterling. (There was also a cloak made by Mistress Rowena of Coppertree, and a lined hood with oak-leaf dags by Lady Madelaine de Mortaigne of Carolingia)
The demo a great success. By the end of the demo, dozens of kids took home the wet felted potholder squares (one 8 year old lady made several, because, she explained, potholders make great gifts for grandparents). The cloth woven by the kids was gifted to the museum, and the yarn spun on the great wheel was given to the MAKESHOP for future projects!
It was wonderful to be back at the Museum, and we are looking forward to more skill demos at this location. Thanks go out to the Museum staff for inviting us and sharing their MAKESHOP and Studio space and to all the demonstrators: Mistress Mahin banu Tabrizi of Sunderoak and Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope who demonstrated weaving techniques, Mistress Irene von Schmetterling who taught the wet felting and spinning, Lady Kattera Doplerin and Lady Rivka bat Daniyel taught and demonstrated felting, spinning, and knitting, and Medea who did finger knitting, and spinning.
Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope demonstrating weaving.
This demo marks a year of our partnership with the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. We feel privileged to have this amazing opportunity to introduce kids to the skills and crafts of the middle ages, show off the amazing artisans of the SCA, and to provide quality programming to our local museum, while fulfilling the educational mission of the SCA. We are looking forward to going back!
Lady Rivka bat Daniyel surrounded by a fascinated group of children.
On July 1st, the Shire of Hunters Home met for a day of fighting in Venango County. First we offered a fighting demo for the Utica Festival Days, offering the audience a chance to pick their heroes and receiving free snow cones when their fighters won.
Later that afternoon, the Shire participated in Franklin’s Independence Day Parade, themed “Fairytales and Fantasy”. Franklin may have expected a normal march down their main drag known as Liberty Street, but what they got was a series of fighting bouts, with a melee topping the excitement. The crowds went wild and the fighters made it look good. To top off a great day the Shire won third Place for best presentation!
The MAKESHOP leather working demo poster (The items on the poster were made by Lord Robert of Ferness, from the Dominion of Myrkfaellin -picture taken by Luceta at Æ A&S Faire, used with his permission)
Lady Luceta Di Cosimo reported the following: On June 4th, the Barony Marche of the Debatable Lands conducted another medieval skills demo at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. This time the museum asked the members of the Barony to do a demo on medieval leatherworking. So, once again we were invited to the MAKESHOP which is a partnership between the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) and the University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out-of-School Environments (UPCLOSE). It is a space dedicated to making, reusing and designing things, using everyday materials and real tools. It has regular programs and special guests. Readers may recall that the Barony did a weaving workshop there a few months ago.
THL Sumayya al-Ghaziyyaa, head of the BMDL Leatherworking Guild, graciously agreed to share her skills and knowledge of period leatherworking with the museum visitors. She was assisted by Luceta di Cosimo and Medea da Venexia. Our goal was to convey to the visitors just how widely leather was used in period. Kids know that nowadays leather is used for shoes, clothing, and accessories, but most are not aware that its uses in period were much broader. Therefore, we had a display of period leather items (reproductions, of course). In addition to shoes, boots and belts, we had things like books, armor, and paintings on parchment. The kids were so surprised to see that you can have armor made out of leather. Some were not sure leather could ever work as armor. So we set up an ornate cuir bouilli chestplate on the back of a chair, and invited the kids and their grownups to hit it with mallets, so they could see how just tough it was. It proved to be their favorite display item. (Cuir bouilli is the process of hardening leather through the application of heat and/or wax.)
Leather items display, including a Turkish shoe and pouch, men’s boots and pouch, small messenger bag, and miniatures on parchment.
THL Sumayya helps a MAKESHOP visitor choose designs for the key fob
In addition to the display, THL Sumayya put together a make and take activity. In period, tooled leather was primarily carved, but to make sure even the littlest visitors could safely participate, we had children and their adults make stamped leather key fobs, even though stamped leather was less common in period. We had a number of stamps available, and the Museum loaned their own sets of leather punches. The kids came up with many really neat designs, and many key fobs were made as father’s day gifts. We had dozens and dozens of people come through the MAKESHOP that day, and even after the demo was officially over, we still had people working on their key fobs. Overall we probably had about 150 people visit the MAKESHOP that day.
Luceta, Medea, and Sumayya in the MAKESHOP
It was a pleasure to be back at the WORKSHOP. The Children’s Museum is a wonderful resource for local families. It promotes a “play with real stuff” philosophy, which is dedicated to inspire curiosity and creativity in kids and allows them to learn through play. We are very proud to be a part of this experience. The Society is full of talented and skilled people, who do amazing and rare and beautiful things, and we are glad to share these skills and knowledge with our Museum neighbors.
The following article was written by Lady Luceta di Cosimo about the Fiber Guild of the Barony Marche of the Debatable Lands’ recent demonstration in Pittsburgh:
On March 5th, the Fiber Guild of the Barony-Marche of Debatable Lands (BMDL) conducted a demo at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. This was the second demo conducted at this site by the Barony within the last three months. The theme this time was medieval weaving and was held in the Museum’s MAKESHOP. MAKESHOP is a partnership between the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) and the University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out-of-School Environments (UPCLOSE). It is a space dedicated to making, reusing and designing things, using everyday materials and real tools. It has regular programs and special guests.
The Guild members were honored to be invited to be the guest artisans for the weaving program. Mistress Mahin Banu Tabrizi of Sunderoak and Lady Beatrix of Anglesey of Ballachlagan demonstrated medieval weaving techniques to curious kids and their grown-ups, assisted by Lady Luceta di Cosimo of the Debatable Lands.
Lady Beatrix of Anglesey and Lady Luceta di Cosimo setting up the sprange frame. Mistress Mahin is in the background speaking with an attendee.
We displayed a full size warp-weighted loom, a tablet weaving set up, and a sprang frame, as well as pre-made samples. The kids and adults who wanted to take something home could make little cardboard looms and weave with bits of yarn.
There were dozens of visitors, weaving samples, playing with the looms and asking questions. One of the MAKESHOP staff artists was a tablet weaver himself. He was particularly interested in learning how to weave letters and Mistress Mahin taught an impromptu tablet weaving class.
It was wonderful to be back at the Museum, and we are looking forward to more skill demos at this location. Thanks go out to the Museum staff for inviting us and sharing their MAKESHOP space, to Mistress Mahin and Lady Beatrix for sharing their skills, and to Sydney, Jacob, and Karl of Sunderoak for warping the looms for the demo, even though they couldn’t be there the day of the demo.
Mistress Mahin teaching tablet weaving.
Additional information regarding the Children’s Museum WORKSHOP can be found here and here.
A related article written by WORKSHOP staff member Colin Williams can be found here.
Lady Beatrix of Anglesey demonstrating weaving on the warp-weighted loom.
In the SCA, we need to stay focused not only on retention of our membership but also on recruiting new people. Sometimes in group dynamics, we think “Well, hey… we have 15 people, I have played this game with them for the last five years… why do we need anyone new?” Without new people, a group becomes stagnant and members tire of trading officer positions and autocratting duties between such a small number. This leads to people being overloaded, and suddenly you find older members fading away.
By having demonstrations (“demos”) and recruiting new members, the work can be passed around, resulting in less burned-out veteran SCAdians. As a former canton chatelaine, I will share what I have learned about doing SCA demos.
Before you schedule your first demo, look at your group. What is your SCA group’s composition? Is it mostly people working 9-to-5 and/or over three dozen people with small children? Or is it a lot of college-age people with variable schedules? The reason why you need to ask yourself this question is that you probably should not attempt scheduling a demo at 1 pm in an elementary school if 99% of your populace is at work and won’t be able to get time off.
Questions to ask your group
The best way to avoid having to cancel a demo is to ask these questions at an SCA meeting:
How many people can do a demo during the day or evening?
What is an impossible time to have a demo on a weekday?
Which times are best?
How often should we hold demos?
In this busy world where there can be an event every weekend, plus sewing circles, dance practices, heavy fighting and archery practices, people will burn out quickly if they have three or four demos a month. Some groups only wish to demo once a month; others twice or three times. It’s also best to agree on bad dates, such as Pennsic war week, the week between the holidays of Christmas and New Year’s, etc. It is also a good idea to ask how on short a notice can your group organize a demo? A week? A month? Twenty-four hours?
Should we charge for the demo?
That is a question best decided by your group. I know that in my canton, if we do a demo at a movie theater, it usually gave us free tickets. That was pretty cool, very visible, and got us media coverage. It made for a great exchange of services. We did demos for some non-profit organizations where we opted for either a greatly reduced fee or none at all. If the event is for the sole purpose of making money (such as a Renaissance fair), or a wedding coordinator or event planner wants to hire your group, then you should receive some compensation for your services. Once again, this sliding fee scale is best determined by your officers and populace.
How to get demo requests?
How do we get demos if no one requests one? Well, most likely no one knows about you. The best way to solve this problem is to find out who is the event coordinators at the local library. If you have a small library, it’s properly the librarian. Send a letter, maybe a few pictures and let them know your group is a non-profit organization dedicated teaching people about the Middle Ages and Renaissance periods. They will put the information on file and the next time they have an event such as Chaucer’s birthday party or a Shakespeare week, you may well get a call.
You will want to do the same for local theaters, colleges, and schools. Your letter has to be simple, to the point, and able to give them the basics. It’s also advisable to send informational letters to bookstores and fabric stores. Some fabric stores offer classes on how to make things, so they may want a person to come in chat about what clothing of the Middle Ages looked like, how to work with what patterns are out there, how to select fabrics. Most of the time, people will just want basic Renaissance fair stuff, but occasionally you will encounter some one who genuinely wants to learn how to make good period clothes… that person could be a potential SCA member. Remember, in sending those letters, be very careful you never sell your group as a “Renaissance-fair-in-a-box.”
What is a “Renaissance-fair-in-a-box?”
If you use this phrase, people will assume you are promising your group as entertainment. Many people think we are an extension of a Renaissance fair, with fire-eaters, jugglers, and jousting with horses. If not corrected, this misconception can lead to misunderstanding and a unsatisfactory demo for both parties. In order to avoid this, keep a pad of paper by the telephone and when you are called, ask these questions:
Who are you? If they don’t identify themselves, how can they be reached later?
What is the organization, the date of the desired demo, and amount of time you’re expected to be there? You might want to repeat this back to the caller to verify everything.
What is the location (with cross streets or identifying markers) in order to direct people there? This is important because if the demo falls in another SCA group’s lands, you should direct the person to that group as a matter of courtesy.
What do they expect? If they just want a few craftspeople and a display of fighting weapons, then don’t talk them into fencing, fighting, and dancing. A simple, well-organized demo is better than an elaborate one requiring a ton of people.
Indoors or out? Don’t go into the demo blind; ask ahead of time whether it will be indoors or outside. What will the fighters be expected to fight on? If it’s July and will most likely be 90 degrees out, I suggest talking to the fighters first to see if they are willing to do a demo on asphalt. If it’s a location with a wooden floor, you may have to ask that no one falls over dramatically or goes to their knees in armor.
What facilities will be available? Will we have tables for arts and sciences displays, or does our group need to bring them? Are there showers on-site that the fighter can use after battle?
Use SCA terms they will not understand without also providing an explanation. Words like: garb, seneschal, gold key, chatelaine. Say, “I will need to talk to our seneschal, which is what we call our chapter president.” Or “I am called a chatelaine, it’s our term for the event coordinator or welcome wagon.”
Say derogatory things about other groups, even if they are not SCA. If the person adores the Renaissance fair, reply that while those are a lot of fun, we are not entertainment performers. We recreate or demonstrate. Never let your personal bias creep in to make you sound negative. Be firm on what you can do but never slam roleplaying groups or Renaissance fairs. This person may interpret you as a snob and you may lose an opportunity to hold a demo.
Never commit your group to something right off the bat. Take the information and tell the person you will get back to them.
What if what they want is not what we do?
If they ask for something outside your group’s scope, then politely tell them what your group can offer: a display of medieval arts & sciences crafts, fencing, or heavy fighters. If no one in your group dances, then don’t mention it. Also, if the demo is supposed to occur over several hours, make sure you discuss how long the fighters can fight and how often they’ll need rest breaks.
During the first contact, repeat what you have been told and make sure you understand the person correctly. Let’s say our fictional demo is a Shakespeare week kick-off party at the main library on a Saturday that doesn’t conflict with a major event. They want people in Elizabethan clothes and fencers to do a fighting display in the main entrance with 20-foot tall ceilings and a 25-foot-square roped-off area with a marble floor. Hopefully, they would like someone to talk about life in the age of Queen Elizabeth for children between the ages of eight and 12.
At this time, tell the person you need to talk to your group and you will call them back in a given time frame (week, day, whatever) to confirm. This gives you the time to get on your group’s discussion list/Facebook group/etc. or go to a business meeting to present the demo and ask whether there is interest, how many people can participate, etc. You will need a marshal, authorized fencers, and people with Elizabethan clothes. Does anyone want to do the children’s class? Hopefully, there is a show of hands, and the date is good, and you call the person back and commit.
What to do if there’s no interest
What if the group is lukewarm at best and no one wants to do the demo? To put it simply, call back the person and say you cannot do the demo.
If the demo is just too good to pass up, you might want to check with the baronial chatelaine (if you’re in a canton or shire) or with the chatelaines from nearby baronies to see if recruiting people from those groups will make it possible.
What if they are asking for nothing like what we agreed on?
This why you have your notes of your group’s decision. Refer to what was agreed upon — the time of day, what activities you’re providing. If you arrive at the demo and the person says, “But where’s the live steel demonstration?” you can reply, “I talked to Joan on July 7th and I told her at that time we use rattan in combat. We agreed to three 15-minute displays over a three-hour period.” In the years I organized demos, I rarely had a complaint because when you have your notes as reference, it tends to help people remember things more correctly.
I also suggest that when doing a demo for a Renaissance fair or an event planner, send them a copy in writing. An example would be:
October 3, 2016
Weddings ‘R’ Us
Attn: Tara Lyn Colby
123 Main Street
Anyplace, NY 13902
Thank you for allowing the Society for Creative Anachronism, Shire of Sterlynge Vayle, to organize a demonstration at the Broome County Renaissance Fair. We will be on site by 10:00 am as agreed on February 8, 2016.
We will have two period pavilions in place. From the hours of 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, we will hold one 15-minute set of fighting either with rattan weapons or fencing. We will take an hour lunch break at 12:00 noon. We will have people wandering the fair in clothes of the Middle Ages to contribute ambiance, and we will have a tent with our crafts displayed.
We appreciate your offer of room to camp overnight and use of the gymnasium showers. We understand that there are no ground fires allowed, and we must be careful when setting up our tents to protect the sprinkler system. A groundskeeper will be on-hand to help us.
We also agreed on a fee of $50 to be delivered in a check made out to “SCA – Canton of Edgewater,” to be given to me at the end of the demo on the February 9.
Event Coordinator for the SCA Shire of Sterlynge Vayle (Chatelaine)
SCA Name: Peg the Alewife
123 Bythway Road
Anyplace, NY 13902
When it’s time for the check, there should be no misunderstanding of amount, time commitments, or just what you agreed to provide.
It’s the day of the demo – now what?
Try to get there ahead of the participants. That way, you can be a traffic manager and get people set up the way they need to go.
It’s also important to interact with whomever you’re doing the demo for and make sure you’re still on the right page. Contact them before, during, and after the demo. If they’re happy, they will tell a few people; if they’re seriously unhappy, they will tell a lot more people.
You also will want to set up a table with SCA information for interested people to take home with them. You also will want a sign-up board so you can e-mail or send information to those folks who sign up on it.
There’s a guy here from the TV or the press
You or the seneschal should talk to them to give them the basic information about the SCA and why you’re there. If people are interested in you, tell them how to contact the SCA. Remember that any time you face coverage by the media, the seneschal needs to be informed (and your media officer, if you have one).
At the end of the demo, be sure to thank all the people who helped, and stick it out to clean up if needed. Follow up with the person who requested the demo to make sure they are happy. Then go home… and hopefully you have made new contacts for your group.